US consumer prices increased 0.4% in September compared to the previous month Labour DepartmentPrices marginally outperformed forecasts, with a sharp 5.4% increase in prices over the past 12 months.
The 0.4% increase was slightly ahead of the Dow Jones assessment For a 0.3% increase in consumer prices, and a slight uptick in inflation in August, when prices rose 0.3%.
Energy prices were a major contributor, with gasoline prices rising 1.2% in September and fuel oil prices up 3.9%.
According to the Labor Department, gasoline prices are now 42.1% higher than they were 12 months ago.
Food prices rose 0.9% during September, more than double the 0.4% increase recorded in August.
The price of beef rose 4.8% in September, while the price of meat, poultry, fish and eggs rose 2.2%.
Except for energy and food, which are known to have volatile prices, the price of all other commodities rose only 0.2% during September for a 4% increase over the previous year. The 0.2% increase was modest compared to the 0.3% growth forecast.
Used car prices rose 10% in both April and June, but the used vehicle market seems to be finally cooling off. The price of used cars and trucks fell 0.7% in September, marking the second-straight month of falling prices. However, prices are still up 24.4% compared to last year.
Inflation has risen significantly over the past year, driven by rising demand as more people return to pre-pandemic lifestyles, yet supply chain problems remain. The federal government has also pumped trillions of dollars into the economy through stimulus packages, further driving up inflation. Contrary to some earlier inflation reports, Wednesday’s numbers did little to shake the stock market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down about 0.3% in the first 30 minutes of trading Wednesday, while the S&P 500 was down about 0.1% and the Nasdaq 0.3%.